I am 48 years old, a cyclist, a graphic designer, full-time mom, yoga practitioner/teacher and Yoga Tune Up® teacher. And, I forgot to mention, a very gifted juggler.

Life is busy. I’m usually pretty good with time management but sometimes it can hard to keep all those balls in the air. Between design jobs, practicing, teaching, taking care of my family and cycling, it is challenging.  Last fall, I was asked to part of a cycling team called the Gruppo Sportivo Gran Fondo New York (feel free to use the google on the interwebs to look it up, it’s pretty cool) so my time commitment to cycling has experienced a considerable uptick. As such, my training has intensified over the last year.

In training, I work hard to apply principles of Yoga and Yoga Tune Up®.  Especially the principles of alignment, non-harm and truth in order to prevent injury.  So… it really, really sucked a few months ago when I did a “brick” workout I’d never done before, and hurt my left leg/knee. Everything was fine during and immediately following the workout. The next morning? Not so much. I woke up and the back of my left thigh, posterior and medial knee, lower vastus lateralis/medialis and the top of my quads felt congested, tight, twingy and pinchy.  Especially the crescent shape around the medial knee. Full disclosure, I totally freaked out. I had not had a serious injury in 20 years.  I had 5 weeks until my first race (which I ultimately skipped).

Ugh… seriously? I sort of need that knee for cycling.  My first reaction was just to be pissed off. Pissed off at my leg, mad at my coach, angry at me, pissed at my sneakers, the road and my knee. You name it, I was pissed at it. Then I got upset, I cried and immediately decided I would probably need surgery and I’d never be able to cycle again. Then I got a grip. I got on a program of rest, ice and elevation for three days. I tried a light spin on day four, too early but there was improvement. I got the name of an orthopedist and a kinesiologist just in case. By day 4 I had come to think that it wasn’t so much my knee that was the issue, but all the tissues surrounding it and that maybe I should focus on what’s uptown and downtown of the joint.  Ahhh, Grasshopper…

Enter the Yoga Tune Up® Quick Fix RX Knee Hab DVD. I occasionally do parts of the video as part of a lower body practice, use it as a learning tool and of course, teach it to students for their challenges. But, I had never had the needed to use it therapeutically for myself. So for my self prescribed healing process, I started with the PreHab section only, no exercise the first two days. Within hours I was able to sit more comfortably, felt less swollen overall and had better mobility in the joint and connected muscles, my gluteus maximus and calf specifically. From days 3-5, I continued with the PreHab and added theKneeHab portion, moving precisely and mindfully through each movement.  Honestly, I think it was more because of fear than ability. With each day, I could actually tell which muscle groups were releasing from around the knee capsule. The vastus medialis, gracilis, tibialis anterior (ouch!) and finally the sartorius…which is apparently where I did the bulk of the damage. Quick FYI…the sartorius is a long strappy muscle that starts at the iliac crest and curves down the thigh, around the inner knee to connect at the tibia. Its job is to flex, abduct and externally rotate the hip and flex the knee.

So what did this teacher learn? One:  I’m super grateful I didn’t do anything serious to the joint.  Two:  Use of the YTU Therapy Balls and specifically designed exercises solidified the concept that you create movement WITH movement, and that is key to joint and tissue health.  The YTU Therapy Balls and KneeHab DVD did that safely and incrementally.  On day 11 after the initial injury, I rode 47 miles and all the while the joint and surrounding musculature felt strong and stable.  YTU teacher, heal thyself.

Learn about Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls

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Heidi Broecking

I've been a yoga practitioner for 13 years and took my 200-hour certification in 2010. I received my Level 1 YTU certification with Jill Miller in March of 2011 at the Kripalu Center. When I'm not with my husband and son, I love to geek out on anatomy and ride a road bike, really fast. Providing a science based system of total body fitness, Yoga Tune Up® has provided me a seamless bridge between enhancing my performance and recovery as an athlete. Yoga Tune Up® has also given me greater understanding of mobility and biomechanics as it relates to the practice of Yogasana. YTU inspires curiosity for me as both a teacher and student of Yoga.

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Mariana Espinosa

I’m so happy to hear that you could recover from your injury. I also have the Knee Hab DVD and similar to you, I just use it for my own maintenance (and hopefully I don’t have to actually use it for a rehab). Sometimes we’ve got the tools to heal ourselves but are so used to them that we forget we can actually use them for our own well-being. Luckily you made good use of it! It’s always warming to hear a personal struggle and know how the person made it through it, also to empathize and aknowledge that we… Read more »

Jon Connelly

I really enjoyed the story you told of your injury. It can certainly be a frustrating rollercoaster of emotion when you are sidelined from participating in your sport (and competition to boot). Focusing on what’s “uptown” and “downtown” form the joint is a great analogy.

Shelby Williams

I am so glad you quickly got back to training. I plan on using the KneeHab videos to assist my husband in prehab and rehab from an ACL tear.

Liselotte Frandsen

It is so nice to read a positive knee story! It keeps one optimistic !

Kayla Lee

I just purchased kneehab rehab myself! I have had a number of dislocations and while my knee feels “generally healthy” right now, I want to do some healing and preventative work. I am in YTU Level 1 right now, I look forward to more deeply feeling like I have the ability to heal my body…and my emotions… I have a lot of healing to do 🙂

AnnMerle Feldman

My first and most enduring love of yoga comes from healing myself and then my second love comes from helping to share this knowledge with my students. I haven’t had any knee injuries yet, but now i know where to go for my students.

Chloe Whitfield

Sounds exactly like what I did to my left knee except my ACL is gone and I’ve tears in my meniscus. I was angry for a while because this has happened to me before. I’ve started putting together a rehab program, but maybe I should invest in the YTU Knee Rehab DVD…

Mary Eileen

It is amazing what knowledge of the human body can do when it comes to our own ailments.

martina sturm

I can relate. Over the years, I have done a lot of damage to my body through various competitive sports. Almost 40 now, I have realized over the last decade that I cannot keep abusing my body as I did previously. That is where my yoga practice started to come more to the forefront and the competitive sports to a back seat. Over the years, I learn more and more self-care and YTU was introduced to me about 2 years ago. It has been transforming.

Max

I can relate… It’s like the airplane announcement, “put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.” Very applicable.

Sonja

I have a client with a knee injury. Thank you for the article, now I have a better sense of direction on how to care for her.

Tonia

Thanks, that was great to see how you went ahead and applied the YTUballs to heal your tissues. I recently have been out of action for tearing an internal ligament in my right knee: I know what you mean with the frustration, I was not allowed to drive , go up and down stairs, or walk !!! Hahaha not funny at all ! I couldn´t do any abrupt movement but on week 3 My BUTT and hip started to say HELLLOO ! and the tension was building up. I than made myself use the balls on my sacrum , upper… Read more »

Natalie Persaud

this is also a good example of proprioception. Being able to sense where your body is and what it needs. you always knew the possible solution, and often are first inclination is to seek external support and responses to our own internal feelings. taking a step back tuning in and finding ways to care for ourselves never fails! glad you were able to cycle again.

R.E.

This hits home, sometimes we get caught up in helping others we forget to put our air mask on first. Amazing when you get to quickly bear the fruit of our labors so quickly!

Kathy

Ah, so based on your description I should be looking more closely at my sartorius (Tailor muscle) as well as the vastus medialis, gracilis, and tibialis anterior in my search for the source of my knee pain. Also a reminder to dig out that Knee Hab Video. Thanks.

Ben L

First let me say I’m so glad you were able to participate in your race, and I’m very impressed with your turn around time. 11 days from initial injury to recovery and you seem to have run the gamut of emotions in between. This story is a great example of why it is so important for YTU teachers to be anatomy geeks, eh grasshopper…? Simply memorizing the muscle names is not as important as having an understanding of the communicative relationship of the structures within our anatomy. …. The sartorius was the guilty suspect after all eh, I love a… Read more »

Steeve

Healing Thyself. In my opinion, one of the most empowering things anyone can do. I tried it for myself, and I really enjoyed it.

I had a knee injury 14 years ago (ACL reconstruction). For those 14 years, I had to endure and accept limited mobility, especially flexion of that particular knee. Consistent YTU Ball work, and a year later, I’m grabbing that knee’s ankle from Pigeon pose and enjoying it.

Healing Thyself. It’s not glamorous, but It is possible.

Genevieve

Ironically, it was YTU that introduced me to my “broken self”. A self-professed lifting junkie, I can out push up out pull up most gym rats in my community. Beast mode ON! Grrrr……. enter YTU that had me whimpering like a puppy with a thorn in its paw! With discomfort came the realization that this body has an expiration date, and that if I want to remain mobile and pain free, my definition of “fitness” needs to be expanded to include better mobility. My injuries and blind spots have humbled me to the lengthy process that is rehabbing old habits… Read more »

Tomoko

I think most of us have some sort of injury/soreness in our bodies and YTU is a great tool for self maintenance. You can do it at anywhere with few equipments. Since I discovered YTU, I bought the balls and start using it for my problems and I feel much more improved than 1 year ago. I thought I would never able to run again, but I go to a gym and able to run for 40~45 mins!! HOORAY!!
As I’m a massage therapist, I must say “You can’t help others if you can’t look after yourself!”

Amalea

I’ve so been there with figuring out my own injuries. YTU has been a great tool to figure out what part is really hurting and what’s just sore + in need of attention. This DVD has been a great tool for pre-race running tune up to prevent future injuries as well making the areas around the knee springy for a better running experience.

Lisa Cassidy

For a few months, I was having knee pain that would sort of migrate from the front to the back which made it difficult to figure out what it actually was. It would vary from pin point, breath taking pain when kneeling on it, to pain and swelling in the back of the knee. My doctor had no idea what was causing it and referred me to physio. As a studio owner and fitness instructor, I cannot afford “down time” and I was rather annoyed with this set back. Then I came across the KneeHab video. I ordered it and… Read more »

Lynne S

I don’t cycle but I’ve recently joined a hiking group and am looking forward to doing quite a bit of hiking. I am very knock kneed which is a set up for knee problems. I hadn’t thought about doing the Knee Hab DVD before but after reading the comments it looks like a great way to prevent future injuries.

Heidi Broecking

Hey Lori and Amanda! Congrats and well done in advance for this week’s training! Thanks for your comments and Lori, yes, it sounds like we have an enormous amount in common. Yoga, kids, bikes…lots of good thoughts to you(and all!) for your last couple of days!

Lori Wieder

Heidi I hope our paths cross someday, I am doing the YTU training this week and am also a graphic designer, mom, Spinning and Yoga practitioner and techer! I have a reconstructed knee (which is why I cycle and don’t run), that had left me with a lot of congestion, scar tissue and arthritic joint damage. I’m so happy to have found YTU — the KneeHab is going to become a regular part of my rountine so I can keep on keepin’ on!

Amanda Joyce

Hey there! I realllllllly wish I couldn’t empathize with the situation you described in your blog, but alas…I can. It’s so interesting to me as a Corrective Exercise Therapist and soon to be certified YTU Teacher that applying the principles and practices I so diligently apply to others is often lost when it comes to me caring for myself. I find that at the end of the day, I can be very good at tricking myself into thinking I’m doing more for myself than I really am. It is blogs like this that remind me to get back on the… Read more »

Jen Sherman

This is so relatable, because we all have such busy lives and try to do as much as possible, and many of us don’t realize how taxing it all is on our bodies. From a weekend with yoga tune up I have learned so much about the way I do my yoga poses and even the way I stand or sit, a few correctly done sun salutations or exercise with the yoga balls can change your life completely. And it is so important to take the time to really take care of your body, you only get one in this… Read more »

Yelimar

I hurt my knee running a Tough Mudder last year and would get an electric shock like pain while walking. I would be fine and then boom there was the pain when I straightened my leg in transit. I would have to lock my knee and limp for days there after. The pain was on and off again for a month or so. After one of my longest spells of pain desperate for some relief I discovered Knee Rehab. Just doing the Pre-hab portion 3 days in a row my pain vanished. I was so thankful for it. I am… Read more »

Jen G.

Thank you for your inspirational story of using Yoga Tune Up to heal your injury. It sounds like it was fairly serious. I feel that many such injuries can be cured with intelligent and careful exercise.

Prem

As mentioned previously, the YTU’s Quick Fix RX Knee Hab DVD helped me recover from my injured knee last year, thanks to Todd Lavectoire, who lent me his DVD. I now own my own.

Allison McCready

With the right tools, we can learn more about our own bodies and we really can heal ourselves. I have been blown away over and over again by how YTU can so specifically help with certain issues in the tissues. First of all, just the anatomical knowledge we gain through YTU classes and trainings is so amazingly beneficial and then the added bonus of actually knowing how to help heal. Thankfully, I have never had a knee injury, but I know that if I do have one, I’ll have the right tools for the healing process with YTU’s Quick Fix… Read more »

Linda Abt

This post made me realize that I have not been practicing two of the major yogic principles of non-harming and truth (ahimsa and satya). I had arthroscopic surgery last March which resulted in the removal of most of the medial meniscus and shaving of the cartilage on the patella. Additionally, I have a Baker’s Cyst which is chronically problematic. I take care while teaching and practicing to protect the knee but I am in denial when protecting the knee or doing therapeutic work on the knee off the mat. I purchased the Knee Hab CD a couple of months ago… Read more »